Berry gets his man

New Blue Bombers offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kit Cartwright smiles during a press...

New Blue Bombers offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kit Cartwright smiles during a press conference on Tuesday in Winnipeg. (Sun Media/Brian Donogh)

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Kit Cartwright might not be able to pick Kevin Glenn out of a lineup right now, but they are about to become best friends.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Doug Berry yesterday introduced Cartwright, an old colleague of his, as the team's new offensive co-ordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The 53-year-old Toledo, Ohio, native has 30 years of experience at the U.S. college level, including stints coaching NFL stars Tom Brady at Michigan and Rod Woodson at Purdue, but Winnipeg will be his first pro gig.

Cartwright signed a two-year contract to replace Mike Gibson and become Winnipeg's eighth offensive co-ordinator in the last 10 years. Remarkably, all eight CFL teams changed OCs this off-season.

Cartwright's mission in Winnipeg will be to turn around an offence that ranked sixth last season in points scored and total yards. He has three months to pick Berry's brain and put a playbook together before starting to call the plays in the pre-season.

"My job is to come in and learn the offence that Doug has in place," said Cartwright, who doesn't know a lot about the CFL but grew up watching the Toronto Argonauts on channel 9 in Toledo.

One of his specific priorities will be working closely with Glenn, who still has room for improvement after two seasons as the team's starting quarterback.

"So much of it is training a guy's eyes and his feet and making good decisions, just not losing football games," Cartwright said. "You can be a very good manager of the game and be a very good quarterback -- and maybe not have the greatest skills in the world -- if you work within the structure of the offence.

"(You want) a guy that's able to move the machine down the field and not make those backbreaking errors."

Coincidentally, Glenn has shown a penchant for those backbreaking errors, specifically fourth-quarter interceptions in close games. Considering Cartwright recruited Brady to Michigan and mentored him for a season as its quarterbacks and receivers coach, he might just be able to help Glenn out.

"If he's been a secondary coach, he's got guys that have played a number of years in the NFL," Berry said. "If he's been a wide receivers coach, his receivers have played in the NFL. If he's been a quarterbacks coach, he's got quarterbacks who have played in the NFL.

"If he's coached at the lower level, he's coached a player that's been the conference player of the year. The man is a good football coach."

Cartwright, who worked with Berry on Joe Paterno's staff at Penn State in 1978, doesn't know a lot about Glenn -- yet.

"I need to call him here ... just introduce myself to him," Cartwright said. "He looks mobile. It looked like he had accuracy."

Berry tried to hire Cartwright last season, but the latter still had a daughter in high school. She is graduating this spring, so Cartwright decided to take the plunge.

Berry believes it will be invaluable to have his offensive co-ordinator serving as the QB coach, considering this is the pass-happy CFL.

"Even last year I thought about moving Mike Gibson to quarterbacks and hiring an O-line coach. But I didn't do that," Berry said. "In that respect, I'd say I made a mistake. If I had to do it over, I'd do it this way."

LATE HITS: The Bombers have brought in Bob Wylie as an offensive line consultant, and Berry hopes he will be able to convince him to join the staff ... The Hamilton Tiger-Cats traded former University of Bisons kicker Jamie Boreham to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for import defensive lineman Alvin Washington yesterday.


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